Doctor Who Recap: The Bells of Saint John

Doctor Who Recap: The Bells of Saint John

April 1, 2013 0 By EVA

The Doctor is back with 8 brand new episodes to tie up season 7! The first episode of Season 7B aired on Saturday March 30th, tied together on a new string of great Saturday night television on BBC America and the Space Channel for us Canadians. We’ll get to the premier of the new series Orphan Black later, but for now lets recap what happened on Doctor Who this week. Be warned, there will be major episode spoilers ahead!

Right away we learn what the title of the episode means, and I’m shocked I didn’t figure it out sooner! The Bells of Saint John are actually the ringing phone on the TARDIS, which we all know has a Saint Johns Ambulance sign on the door. I absolutely loved this. And who else would be ringing the bells of Saint John than the lovely Clara Oswald herself? And where did she get this phone number? From an unnamed shop girl. So here is our first unsolved mystery from this episode. Who was the shop girl? Was it River, Sally Sparrow, or dare I say, Rose? We all know Rose and the Tenth Doctor are coming back for the 50th anniversary, so this could be possible!

So The Doctor has found his muse, the girl twice dead. He tracks her down to her home where she is a nanny, much like one of the other incarnations of her character from The Snowmen. He gets there just in time to save her from the evil corporation that is invading people’s minds through their wifi. This is where the episode lost me. To save Clara, The Doctor has to act fast and use his “hacking” skills. This is where the people who make this show that I love so much do something that irritates me to no end that I have seen so many shows do before this. Hacking = typing really fast. So many show writers with absolutely no idea how computers works use this method to show that the characters are hacking into something. Mind you, I am not a computer hacker either, but this just seems so cliché and overused. Well The Doctor saves her, because somehow his hacking has cancelled a download and uploaded Clara into her own body.  Clara of course wakes up with a new found ability to type really fast… I mean, hack really well. This ability is discovered when the young girl, who for some reason has zero computer skills despite the fact that she is from the computer and Internet generation, makes a joke about Twitter. Although it was a clever joke, I’ll give them that.


At this point we are presented with the second unsolved Clara mystery. She has a travel journal that lies empty on her desk. The years of her life are outlined in an index in the front cover. For some reason, ages 16 and 23 are missing. Knowing Steven Moffat, this feels important.

So after some hacking and coffee, Clara gets downloaded anyways by a Doctor doppelganger that is essentially a router with legs. Now it’s The Doctor to the rescue! So now we have the awkwardly bumbling Doctor, speeding down the busy London streets on a motorcycle. He Ghost Riders his way up the side of a building and crashes into an office.  Here we find out that he pulled the old switcheroo again but this time instead of the Teselecta he uses the router with legs. He downloads the leader of the corporation, forcing them to release everyone that has been fully integrated into the system.

UNIT comes in and takes control of the building, while the mean boss lady Ms. Kizlet discusses how her plans have failed with The Great Intelligence! They are back! The writers of Doctor Who like to do this thing where they make you feel really bad for the villains. They do it again here. The Great Intelligence releases their control over Ms. Kizlet and she is left a scared and confused child in the body of a grown woman. Right in the feels, Moffat.

So in the end, Clara doesn’t leave with The Doctor. She tells him to ask her tomorrow. But hey, at least she survived this adventure! I really love Jenna Louise Coleman as Clara, and her fast talking banter with the Doctor is so funny. I hope that the writing steps up a bit, because they really did let me down in this episode. Before I end this recap, I have to mention one more thing. Amelia Williams wrote the book that the child is reading in the episode. It was a nice nod to Amy Pond, the former companion. I actually missed it the first time I watched it. It was after my second viewing that I noticed the authors name on the book.

The Doctor and Clara are back next Saturday with The Rings of Akhaten! For now, enjoy the trailer for the episode:

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